While my parents did a good job in raising us up by instilling us with a passion for learning and a sense of discipline, the only important thing they neglected was creating a loving and heavenly home for us to live in. My siblings and I grew up in a somewhat village environment. We cooked meals in a sooty kitchen using firewood. We milked cows using our bare hands in muddy cowsheds. And we farmed crops the traditional way by waiting for rains and using hoes and machetes to till our farm. I guess it's as a result of being nurtured in such an environment that I got to grow up as a villager.
Yes, I grew up as a villager. And I behaved like one because several people used to make fun of the way I walked, the way I talked and how I conducted myself. I used to walk in a stooped position like a chimpanzee, was regularly confused, couldn't pronounce some English words correctly and my heels always had cracks.
In the year 2000 when I transferred to Kunoni Educational Centre, a school for pupils from affluent families and where I finished off my primary school education, one of my new classmates called Joseph Muriuki said this of me to other classmates, "I instantly knew Thuita was a villager from the way he walks."
Even at home, my fellow siblings didn't spare me from criticism. Like my eldest brother Joe Kagigite used to chide me for behaving like a villager. I recall vividly at one time in December 2001, he ridiculed me for not knowing how to feast on a meal of ugali and cabbages.
I continued receiving criticism well into my years at Starehe Boys' Centre where I had my high school as well as college education. Numerous schoolmates at Starehe commented on how confused I looked and how I walked like a chimpanzee. I remember one evening in the year 2002 when I was in Form One as I was heading to my dormitory after a meal of supper, one school-mate called Simon Chakar ran up to me and bluntly told me, "Thuita, you are always confused and you walk in a stooped position."
And then one morning when I was in Starehe College in 2006 while I was walking on a highway of the school, I happened to meet a Biology teacher called Mrs. Kiprop who promptly commanded me, "Walk uprightly!"
As they say, it's very easy to remove a boy from the village but very difficult to remove the village from the boy. So even after Starehe plucked me from a village environment, it took me years to shed the village in me. I was still a confused young man even when I was at the university in JKUAT in 2007. And my heels still had cracks. That year in 2007 when I was in JKUAT, my peace-loving room-mate called Mikhail Mbelase said this of me to a friend, "This Thuita is always confused. He reminds me of the Form One students I used to see at Alliance High School." Those words stung me deeply.
By the way, my cracked heels used to be a source of shame and embarrassment. Whenever I lay on bed during the day, I had to cover my legs with something to hide the cracks. They were very very embarrassing.
Over the last eight years, I have worked hard to transform myself from a villager to a civilized man. As a result of that hard work as well as due to good breaks, I am proud to say that I am now a civilized man. I shower daily, changes my clothes everyday as well as apply oil on my hair, lotion on my skin and deodorant on my armpits. And I have also gotten rid of the cracks in my heels that used to embarrass me badly.
Above all, I have now become a clear-thinker. I have come to develop a love for God, for myself and others. For to be civilized is not merely dressing neatly and using perfume but living with kindness and compassion towards yourself and others. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on getting civilized, you might also enjoy another one I wrote sometimes back on "Developing Mental Clarity". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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How To Get Your Mojo Back
In his book The Mystery of God's Will, pastor Charles Swindoll admits that he loses his mojo by saying that sometimes he has felt strangely abandoned by God. And be saying so, he has made me feel in good company because I also lose my mojo at times. When I lose my mojo, I feel bored and lacking the zeal to pursue my hobbies. Waking up in the morning becomes a difficult chore.
Oh! I almost forgot to add that when I lose my mojo, I sometimes feel guilty over some of the things I have done and hateful towards people who have been unkind to me in the past. Do those experiences sound familiar to you?
If they do, and I am sure they do, I have got nine tips I'd like to share with you on how to get your mojo back when you lose it. They work for me and I am sure they can do the same to you. The tips are:
- Going for a jog and a walk: These two exercises improve mood and outlook. They also provide uplifting social opportunities. Try them for at least forty minutes next time you lose your mojo.
- Reading an entertaining short-story or an inspiring book: This is another effective way of lifting your spirits. It has worked for me. Like I remember there was an evening in 2016 I felt energized after reading just the first chapter of Immaculee Ilibagiza's wonderful memoir, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Genocide. It truly was energizing.
- Writing a story and sharing it on social media: I have found this to be one of the most rewarding exercises, especially when people like and comment on my stories. Try it next time you feel low and I can guarantee you that it will boost you mojo. And don't be worried by the first draft of your story. Rewrite it several times and most likely, the story will look better by the time you are re-writing it like for the fourth time.
- Talking to a good friend or family member: This has helped to elevate my spirits on several occasions when I felt low. Like I recall one evening in 2011, I was feeling terribly burdened with guilt. But when I met my brother Paddy who gave me a short talk about the Nobel-prize winning economist John Nash and the mental illness he'd overcome, I felt suddenly inspired; I literally bounced all the way back to the hostel I was staying. Next time you are in the doldrums, try talking to a trusted friend or family member.
- Thinking of past successes: I came across this advice in a document that my friend Michael Njeru sent me a couple of years ago. But I have to confess I have never tried it when feeling low in moods. Next time I lose my mojo, I'll give the advice a shot. I beseech you to also try reflecting on your past successes when you lose your mojo; it could improve your moods.
- Practising gratitude: This is an advice we have all heard many times. But have you noticed how gratitude seems to be on everybody's lips but in a few people's practice? Let's be different by practising gratitude every day as the Kenya national anthem exhorts us in the third verse.
- Praying: If you believe in God like I do, I recommend trying prayer power next time you lose your mojo. Pray for your needs and for whatever problem that has caused you to lose your mojo. And who knows? By the time you finish praying, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding could descend on you.
- Listening to music: Well, I usually stay away from music when I lose my mojo. But once I begin to feel it getting back, listening to music helps speed up the process of regaining full mojo. Next time you feel low, I recommend you go for a jog and a walk, read a great book and write a story. And if those exercises improve your moods, turn to your favourite music and bingo! You will be a happy man again.
- Remembering that everyone loses mojo at times: Keeping this in mind when you feel low in moods helps to remove guilt and put things in perspective. Yes, we all feel bored, guilty or hateful at times. And we all mess up at one time or another in life.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on how to get your mojo back, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Building Self-esteem". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.